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Twitter restricts engagement with Trump’s labeled tweets amid riots at the US Capitol

On Wednesday afternoon, Twitter moved to restrict engagement with tweets by President Donald Trump and others that have been labeled “due to a risk of violence.”

The announcement comes after hours of silence from the president as violent rioters descended on the US Capitol, and amid mounting calls by the Anti-Defamation League and others for Trump’s Twitter account to be suspended outright.

Twitter did not directly address those calls, but said that the restrictions on sharing and engagement are part of its efforts to monitor the “ongoing situation in Washington.”

Likes and replies have been disabled on Trump’s tweet that claimed Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” Retweets of the tweet have been restricted, prompting users to add a comment rather than simply amplifying Trump’s remarks.

Those same restrictions were also applied to a video Trump shared of himself late Wednesday afternoon addressing the rioters.

“In regard to the ongoing situation in Washington, D.C., we are working proactively to protect the health of the public conversation occurring on the service and will take action on any content that violates the Twitter Rules,” Twitter said.

“Threats of and calls to violence are against the Twitter Rules, and we are enforcing our policies accordingly. In addition, we have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence. This means these labeled Tweets will not be able to be replied to, Retweeted, or liked.”

Twitter is still considering other “escalated enforcement actions,” it added.

Facebook condemned the violent riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday, but stopped short of saying Trump would be blocked from the social media platform.

“The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace,” said Facebook spokesman Andy Stone in a statement to CNN. “We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”

Facebook, Twitter and other tech platforms faced growing calls Wednesday afternoon to suspend President Donald Trump’s social media accounts for his role in instigating riots at the Capitol.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement accusing Trump of promoting sedition and inciting violence.

“President Trump has a responsibility to call for an end to this violence and unrest that he has sowed. His campaign of disinformation is a clear and present danger to our democracy,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “But until such time as that happens, social media companies should suspend his accounts ASAP as they would do for anyone else advocating disinformation and promoting violence. It’s time.”

Jessica Gonzalez, co-CEO of Free Press, an advocacy group, tweeted that the major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, face “another inflection point here.”

Facebook did not respond to multiple requests for comment on whether it would take action on his account. The companies have applied contextual labels to Trump’s posts in recent days, but since the November election it has become increasingly clear that the labels are inadequate to the task.

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